Last week, law professor and Washington Post blogger Eugene Volokh, exposed how the District Attorney’s Office in Nassau County, New York, was unconstitutionally prohibiting its prosecutors from possessing handguns, even in their homes. We registered our disapproval as well. On Wednesday, mere days after the story broke, Prof. Volokh reported that the policy had been rescinded. Well, mostly rescinded.
Prof. Volokh’s Wednesday post includes a copy of a memo issued by Albert Teichman, Chief Assistant District Attorney for Nassau County. The memo notes the policy was enacted in 2006, and predates the tenure of current Nassau County Acting District Attorney, Madeline Singas. Although the memo doesn’t say so, it would also mean the policy predated the Supreme Court’s pivotal holdings in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago. Of course, those cases should be well-known to any lawyer, especially one working in law enforcement, so that does not excuse the fact that the policy persisted, even when it was clearly at odds with the high court’s statements on the Second Amendment.
The memo claims, unlike the explanation provided to Prof. Volokh when he inquired about the policy, that the restriction was enacted “to prevent friendly fire tragedies like those that have occurred in recent years in Nassau County and neighboring jurisdictions.” It then embarks on a litany of incidents occurring between 2006 and 2011 in which law enforcement officers were killed by other law enforcement officers in the New York City Metropolitan area. None of the incidents involved prosecutors or other officials who do not routinely carry as part of their law enforcement duties.
The memo concludes, “Upon review, the public safety interests served by the policy can be substantially effectuated though a less-restrictive means that does not preclude ADAs from owning handguns, but strictly prohibits work-related possession and use.” It goes on to recommend that assistant district attorneys be “strictly prohibited from carrying or possessing a weapon any time they are working … without the express written permission of the District Attorney or the District Attorney’s authorized designee.” Violations, it states, should be punishable by termination.
A follow-up memo, also dated Sept. 30, shows the policy being enacted “immediately” and superseding any previous policy. It also states, “Assistant District Attorneys are permitted to own and possess a legally registered handgun in their homes or for legally permitted activity unrelated to their employment and workplace.” Such employees are “encouraged” to take a firearm safety course. They are also required to provide copies of their “licensure and registration documentation to the DA’s office.”
We took Acting District Attorney Ringas strongly to task in our original remarks, as she is ultimately responsible for the policies of her office, whether she originally implemented them or not. We now credit her, however, with taking positive and expeditious steps to correct an obviously untenable situation. We certainly agree with her office’s recommendation that DAs who choose to own handguns take a firearm safety course, and NRA’s network of certified trainers – the finest in the nation – stand ready to assist in that regard. While we believe that any prosecutor lawfully able to do so should also have the option of remaining armed while operating their own private automobiles, we are glad to know that they will now be able to own and use handguns on their own time and for their own purposes.
More troubling is the office’s continued insistence that “[m]any neighboring jurisdictions impose handgun restrictions on Assistant District Attorneys.” We checked the hiring websites for the District Attorney’s Offices of Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond Counties. None of them mentioned any such requirements. Clearly, however, the use of public employment or civil service as a means of depriving individuals of their Second Amendment rights while they are at home or on their own time is a problem in any context. Public employees subjected to any such a blanket policy are encouraged to contact the NRA with their stories.
The original author of the Nassau County policy is former District Attorney and current U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY). Rice told the media through a spokesperson that assistant district attorneys “shouldn’t be walking around armed” when dealing with victims, witnesses, and defendants. Why she believed that necessitated banning prosecutors from owing handguns at home, however, is not explained. It suggests deficiencies not just in her grasp of the U.S. Constitution but in her legal drafting ability. Her NRA-PVFF-rating, meanwhile, indicates she takes a dim view of firearm ownership in general.
at least it’s with BACON!
Yes, my friends, SPAM has reared it’s ugly head, yet again.
Not the unwanted and unwarranted comments by advertisers and weirdos…
BUT, for some unknown reason, two of my favorite supporters (and Internet friends), Brigid and Old NFO had recent comments sent to the SPAM file!
I just need to check the SPAM file more often!
If you are not reading Peter Grant (Bayou Renaissance Man) daily, may I say your daily blog reading is – in the very least – incomplete!
For those of us interested in personal security and safety…
America’s shopping malls are wide open to attack by terrorists and criminal thugs. I’ve spoken about that on various occasions, and I’ll repeat here what I’ve warned before:
In today’s racially charged climate, with criminal flash mobs an ever-increasing problem in many cities, the average urban shopping mall now qualifies as a “stupid place” to be. (!!!)
In 2013 four Muslim fundamentalist terrorists attacked a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, in a chilling foretaste of what could happen in any city in America at any time. I wrote about it that same day. I urge you to read the warning I gave then, and ask yourself the same questions I posed on that day. They’re as relevant as ever they were.
Now Foreign Policy brings us an in-depth report on what happened that day in Nairobi, complete with many eye-witness and participant accounts. It’s the next best thing to a security briefing on what you might confront any day now in an American shopping center. I have no faith whatsoever that our police and security forces could stop such a thing from at least getting started. I hope and trust they’d do rather better at shutting it down before it got out of hand: but if the attacking party is larger, or better-armed, or their assault is timed to coincide with mass street protests that draw too many cops away from the danger zone . . . who knows?
We already know that fundamentalist Islamic terrorists and/or their sympathizers are trying to infiltrate the United States. Some claim they’ve already done so. None of us know the facts . . . but I guaran-damn-tee you, they want to. Nairobi was a foreshadowing of what they’d like to do to the Great Satan, America itself. Go read the Foreign Policy article in full, and ask yourself: if something like that goes down tomorrow, in my town, and I’m there, what am I going to do about it? Am I prepared to deal with it? If not . . . why not?
Sad, but true, from Peter.
Those who say ‘it won’t happen here’ are whistling in the dark.
(No snark, just fact!)
…an otherwise undistinguished loser demonstrates the easiest way in America to get your own Wikipedia page and your name on the president’s lips.
And they’re all over it on the TV, and this dillweed’s actions are the topic of everyone’s conversations, and they’re interviewing every student who can claim they caught a glimpse of him and all I can keep yelling at the television screen is “Why didn’t you shoot him?“
Seriously, this guy allegedly has time to huddle people together and hold dialogues on their religion? Sounds like there was ample time for any even moderately competent shooter to smoke check his ass. But no. We’re yet again going to be bombarded with discussions about taking guns away from the wrong people instead of arming the right ones. There weren’t four too many guns in that classroom, there was one too few. (View From The Porch)
My understanding is even campus security only had some kind of Mace. Because this was yet another ‘victim disarmament zone.’!
How do we react under such attacks? WE CALL FOR GUYS WITH GUNS TO END THE PROBLEM.
Just as with military installations, we need to allow citizens present to possess arms. Then it would be less likely they would have to call government agents to end the problem.
And there would be fewer victims.
Doc in Yuma (a regular, loyal reader and sometime contributor) sent me this regarding control of Food Stamps.
Sent to him under the title “Compassionate Conservatism”.
Put me in charge…
Put me in charge of food stamps. I’d get rid of Lone Star cards; no cash for
Ding Dongs or Ho Ho’s, just money for 50-pound bags of rice and beans,
blocks of cheese and all the powdered milk you can haul away. If you want
steak and frozen pizza, then get a job.
Put me in charge of Medicaid. The first thing I’d do is to get women
Norplant birth control implants or tubal ligations. Then, we’ll test
recipients for drugs, alcohol, and nicotine and document all tattoos and
piercings. If you want to reproduce or use drugs, alcohol, smoke or get
tats and piercings, then get a job.
Put me in charge of government housing. Ever live in a military barracks?
You will maintain our property in a clean and good state of repair. Your
“home” will be subject to inspections anytime and possessions will be
inventoried. If you want a plasma TV or Xbox 360, then get a job and your
In addition, you will either present a check stub from a job each week or
you will report to a “government” job. It may be cleaning the roadways of
trash, painting and repairing public housing, whatever we find for you. We
will sell your 22 inch rims and low profile tires and your blasting stereo
and speakers and put that money toward the “common good..”
Before you write that I’ve violated someone’s rights, realize that all of
the above is voluntary. If you want our money, accept our rules. Before
you say that this would be “demeaning” and ruin their “self esteem,”
consider that it wasn’t that long ago that taking someone else’s money for
doing absolutely nothing was demeaning and lowered self esteem.
If we are expected to pay for other people’s mistakes we should at least
attempt to make them learn from their bad choices. The current system
rewards them for continuing to make bad choices.
AND – While you are on Gov’t subsistence, you no longer can VOTE! Yes that
is correct. For you to vote would be a conflict of interest. You will
voluntarily remove yourself from voting while you are receiving a Gov’t
welfare check. If you want to vote, then get a job.
Alfred W. Evans, Gatesville , TX
First of all, I’m a (conservative) libertarian (small L). Voluntarism, coupled with non-nanny-statism would be the order of the day. With that in mind, some of the controls suggested are ones with which I disagree. For example…
“Food” choices. If an EBT (food stamp) recipient wants T-bone steak or Twinkies to eat – I don’t care! Only so many funds are allocated each month, and buying steak will ‘eat up’ the funds rather quickly.
It would be nice if the purchase of TP, laundry soap and similar household items were included on the ‘approved’ list, though.
Forced birth control is repugnant to me. And recreational drugs and body disfigurement are not on the food stamp list. Not my problem.
The whole ‘government housing’ thing is also repugnant. If someone wants to live in a hovel or cannot afford maintenance, it is no concern of mine. As long as it doesn’t affect the public health and safety. Funny how a ‘conservative’ cries for such control, but screams about the prospect of FEMA camps…
I do like the idea of (voluntary) government service to help maintain the infrastructure. I’m not certain it should be tied to receipt of food stamps, however.
“While you are on Gov’t subsistence, you can no longer VOTE! For you to vote would be a conflict of interest.”
WOW – what a concept!
Of course, while a compassionate State maintains some kind of a ‘safety net’ for the truly needy, I’m a little unclear how this can be administered efficiently, fairly and at a reasonable cost.
After all, it IS government of which we speak!
(courtesy of Brock Townsend)
“SAVE A LIFE SURRENDER YOUR KNIFE!”
Many lives are affected as a result of knife crime in the UK each year.
In an attempt to raise awareness of the devastating impact of knife crime and to reduce the number of families affected, we’re campaigning for as many knives to be surrendered as possible. Knife bins will be located in cities around the UK and the British Ironwork Centre will be touring the country, speaking to young people and collecting knives from the streets.
All knives will be surrendered anonymously – no names will be taken, and there will be no CCTV cameras recording (Yeah, right – Guffaw).
Whatdya think they want to do the same thing here? With guns?
Oh wait, they do!
And how many criminals voluntarily give up their knives and guns?
No rush, I’ll wait for an answer…
(aka The War Between The Blacks and The Whites, Part III)
As a grimly relevant adjunct to my previous post about crime, cops and communities, the voices calling for racially-based violence (especially against police) got louder last weekend (a couple weeks ago).
Members of the #FYF911 or #F**YoFlag and #BlackLivesMatter movements called for the lynching and hanging of white people and cops. They encouraged others on a radio show Tuesday night to “turn the tide” and kill white people and cops to send a message about the killing of black people in America.
One of the F**YoFlag organizers is called “Sunshine.” She has a radio blog show hosted from Texas called, “Sunshine’s F***ing Opinion Radio Show.”
During the show, callers clearly call for “lynching” and “killing” of white people.
The President is being largely silent in these matters. Until a Black kid gets shot by a cop – then he sends the A.G. in to support the protesters.
I wonder if he sees himself as a latter-day Robert Mugabe, tearing down the culture to replace it with a do-nothing, welfare-receiving, inflationary economy. In other words, changing The United States to a Zimbabwe State?
I like to think I have Principles
I like to think I stand on them, and admire those who do also.
Unless, of course, their principles are diametrically opposed to mine!
One would think that working as a county clerk, and gay marriage was upheld by The Supreme Court, and licensing gays violated my principles, that it would behoove me to look for employment elsewhere(?)
The same thing applies to pharmacists who dislike dispensing a ‘morning after’ pill to their customers.
Or going to work at the Walmart sporting goods department, and being told you must sell guns and ammunition. And you are anti-gun.
This just in – an Islamic flight attendant is objecting to be required to serve her passengers alcohol! (as if she didn’t know this going in!)
If working there and doing your assigned job violates your principles – QUIT!
There’s an old saw, emblazoned on many a sampler and kitschy poster, stating “When you work for a man, WORK for him!”
Perhaps the women in the news are hoping to become another cause celebre, and make it to the Supreme Court?
In another lifetime.
I’m certainly not pristine in holding to my principles. I AM human. I worked for a polygraph company (not as a polygrapher) and federal legislation was pending to severely restrict private polygraph pre-employment companies. (It passed). But the boss had us calling in on company time (we were getting paid to do this) in an effort to sway the Congress to not pass the bill.
And, having had some (not all) negative experiences with polygraphs, I privately supported the legislation.
But, I also needed a paycheck, so…
I chose getting a paycheck over standing on my principles.
I was laid-off six months later, regardless, I’m sure in part to the decreased company revenue.
I probably should have quit.